Pomona, California (November 13, 2017)- Race day at the 53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway of Pomona was full of excitement for the Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team. Shane and Tanner Gray set out to make a statement that Gray Motorsports shouldn’t be taken lightly and that is exactly what they did.
The younger of the two Gray’s would take out heavy hitters Gray Motorsports teammate Drew Skillman and championship contender Jason Line.
The round one matchup saw Tanner Gray verse part time driver Alex Laughlin. Gray was 3-1 against Laughlin in prior events. With a starting line duel, Gray would eventually have the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. Gray would put up an impressive 6.555 seconds at 210.70 mph which would be his quickest pass of the weekend.
“A round win is a round win,” Tanner Gray said. “I wasn’t play games with him (Alex Laughlin), I was racing.”
This round win would set up an all Gray Motorsports round two between Tanner Gray
and Drew Skillman.
Shane Gray did not make it through his round one matchup with championship contender Bo Butner. Shane got loose early giving Butner the lead by 250 feet and ultimately the round win.
“We came out here to get ahead on next season,” Shane said. “Our Gray Motorsports engine program has to continue to improve in order to keep up with the competition. 2018 is going to be exciting for the pro stock class and we are looking to come out stronger and better than we did this year.”
The quarterfinals matchup between Tanner Gray and Drew Skillman, would secure the number four points position in the mello yello championship standings. The win would go to Tanner Gray on a holeshot.
“Racing Drew (Skillman) anywhere but in the final is never fun,” Tanner said. “Luckily we were guaranteed one of our team cars in the semi’s and Drew had the short straw today.”
Next up for the impressive rookie, would be KB Racing’s Jason Line. Tanner and Jason were dead even when it comes to round matchups 4-4. Line would leave the starting line prematurely by seven thousandths of a second giving the stripe to Gray.
“Jason (Line) can never be taken lightly,” Gray said. “He is one of my close friends out here and I enjoy racing him.”
The final matchup of the day would be between Tanner Gray and Bo Butner. This race would ultimately decide the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Champion. If Butner won the round he would claim the race win as well as the championship. If Gray won, Greg Anderson would claim the 2017 championship victory.
Gray would have the starting line advantage over Butner, only to experience a tire malfunction mid track in the front right. This issue would give Butner the victory as well as the championship.
“Our Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro was the car to beat today,” Gray said. “I was hot on the tree, and the car was fast. Congratulations to Bo (Butner) on the win as well as the championship.”
The Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team finished the season fourth overall in points with rookie driver Tanner Gray. The team plans to enjoy the off season, and come back in February 2018 to contend for the 2018 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship.